“Audition” is the type of film that makes me never want to date again and reaffirms my belief that strangers are dangerous. Its 1999 release fell right before that of torture and gore porn films like “Saw” and “Hostel” yet, I find it more unsettling than those. It sets itself apart by prolonging the evisceration until the very end with a disquieting pieces of story scattered throughout the narrative. It begins as a character study on a man and coping with loss, then the story gets a bit slow interspersed with creepy happenings which appear mostly from the protagonists own mind only to peak in a comparatively short torture scene. If torture porn films like “The Human Centipede” and “Hostel” make it clear from the beginning that you are here to see people gutted and maimed in various ways, “Audition,” makes no such promises until about half way through.
The torture scene itself is the grand culmination of a film that almost lulls you to sleep. Just when you’re about to close your eyes for a catnap before the credits roll, there’s an all out assault on the main character which will do nothing less than make your skin crawl. It’s not just the gleeful way the monster attacks her victim. It is not merely the delicate and precise weapons of torture she utilizes. It is the combination of these along with the sound effects. The sounds alone are plenty to make even the most seasoned horror fans among us at lease grit their teeth to keep it together.
During the boring first hour you spend with the main character, he becomes a friend. He is that poor lonely friend that you want good things for but are fairly certain will be taken advantage of severely. The villain herself is off, but there are no outside cues to go off of except for what the film gives you. You have no intrusive score from “The Omen” to warn you or theme music from “Jaws” to indicate danger is present.
In short, if you’re interested in “Audition,” be sure of a few things before you watch. Make sure you haven’t must recently started dating anyone you consider “perfect” and be prepared to be slightly bored for an hour. Finally, if you watch with someone else, be sure they aren’t prone to taking embarrassing videos of your reaction or bringing up said reaction in front of company. Fair warning.